A common scenario: what to do when one spouse needs the maximum amount of care due to memory loss and the other is able to live independently? Families often wonder whether it is better to have the couple continue to live in their home with a great deal of support services from home care agencies or place the couple in an assisted living facility. Let’s look at this issue from an economic, social and medical perspective:
In-Home Care from a Private Agency
The average cost for an 8 hour day care at home on a daily basis is approximately $5000 a month.
(8 hours/day x $23/hour x 7 days/week = $1288/week or about $5000/month)
In addition to this cost, the couple would still assume the fees of associated with owning or renting a home (e.g. heat, electricity, water, taxes etc.) as well as necessities such as food, transportation, housekeeping and so forth.
The couple remains in their own home, where they feel comfortable and can maintain an independent lifestyle.
The spouse who can live independent assumes responsibility for such things as maintaining the house/apartment, shopping, errands and driving to medical appointments. Moreover, round-the-clock 24 hour care is extremely expensive, so there will be periods where no help will be available. He or she may also feel isolated from friends and every day social interaction.
Support and Care from an Assisted Living Facility
The average cost of ALF apartment for a couple in the US is approximately $5500/month plus $1500 (fee for second person) or approximately $7000/month.
This fee would include private apartment, three prepared meals daily, on-site fitness, beauty salons, recreational and social activities as well as maximum assistance (for one) in terms of activities of daily living (etc. eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, walking and medication assistance.)
Assisted livings generally provide better quality of care and residents have access to trained staff members 24 hours a day. Most ALF have specially designated memory loss residences. Additionally, there is a much higher level of socialization at an assisted living facility,
Higher cost than living at home with help, although one needs to add into the mix that cost of the apartment, food, amenities and activities are included into the monthly fee.
Most couples want to stay in their homes as long as possible — and that is understandable – and certainly desirable. The key is to figure out when it becomes too stressful for the couple to live alone and, even more importantly, when safety concerns arise.
Making the Right Decision
As individuals age and memory loss becomes more pronounced, assisted living facilities can offer support while maintaining independence. Assisted Living Nationwide helps examine the pros and cons of each situation and offer professional expertise to help families make this most difficult decision.